A committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently prepared a report concerning fatigue in the trucking industry. The report called for greater research and analysis by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The conclusion was that there is insufficient information gathered concerning truck driver fatigue and its impact on highway safety and long-term health for truckers. The report also concluded that the lack of information is harming the FMCSA's ability to set rules concerning hours of service, medical certification and other regulations designed to combat drowsy driving.
Reducing fatigue-related accidents is the first priority listed on the National Transportation Safety Board's 2016 Most Wanted List. The Department of Transportation has acknowledged that drowsy driving is a serious issue. The report is asking that more research be conducted to form a comprehensive understanding of the problem and how it applies to commercial motor vehicle drivers.
The report culminated in 13 recommendations for various players in the trucking industry. The recommendations ranged from calls for greater access to information, to requests for funding of research and training programs. At the heart of these recommendations is the goal to eliminate data gaps that are preventing safety experts from understanding where fatigue fits on the landscape of truck driver health and wellness.
Sources: Truckinginfo, "Eye-Opener Report: FMCSA Should Boost Driver-Fatigue Research," by David Cullen, 10 March 2016